Jordan Davis

The Project

Jordan’s Equal Justice Works Fellowship seeks to address the legal needs of Californians with disabilities concerning wildfire disasters.

Jordan will work on Disability Rights California’s approach to wildfires and issues stemming from these disasters, such as Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events, housing displacement and a lack of accessible and affordable housing, emergency transportation, and the negative health impacts of poor air quality. All of these issues disproportionately affect people with access and functional needs. These vulnerable and underserved populations require thoughtful inclusion at all levels of disaster resilience planning. Jordan will be responding to the legal needs of the disability community throughout California before, during, and after wildfire disasters.

Jordan has lived experience with disability and disaster resilience. Having grown up in a disaster-prone region of the southeastern United States and witnessed the aftermath of natural disasters, Jordan will use this personal understanding to inform their work.

Fellowship Plans

Jordan will provide outreach on wildfire disaster resiliency by hosting accessible clinics, training, and direct legal aid to people with disabilities and others in the access and functional needs community. They will work with grassroots community groups throughout the state to strengthen existing disaster resource centers and coalitions.

Media

Californians With Disabilities Left in the Dark

I hope to bring awareness to some of the issues people with disabilities face and ensure that state and local governments prioritize the safety and welfare of ALL residents in disaster resilience planning.

Jordan Davis /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

The Inspiration

The Inspiration

The Project

In California, people who live in rural areas have little-to-no access to legal services. Julie’s project aimed to fill the legal services gap in rural California through the Rural Education and Access to the Law (REAL) Program.

The Inspiration

The Inspiration

The Project

In California, people who live in rural areas have little-to-no access to legal services. Candace’s project at OneJustice focused on filling the legal services gap in rural California through the Justice Bus Project. On Justice Bus trips, Candace educated urban law students and pro bono attorneys about the unique challenges low-income people in rural California face trying to access legal services, and took them to rural areas to volunteer at free legal clinics for low-income clients.

The Project

Marina is improving health care access for indigent newcomer refugees in Alameda County through community outreach and education, policy advocacy, litigation, and direct client representation.

The overwhelming majority of refugees resettling in Alameda County arrive from extremely unstable country conditions where they were subjected to displacement and extensive trauma. As a result, they are plagued with disproportionately high rates of chronic, but preventable, illnesses. Burmese and Bhutanese refugees in particular face poverty, staggering unemployment rates, and social and linguistic isolation upon arrival. Though initially all refugees receive eight months of medical assistance, virtually all single adults are disqualified thereafter. Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), single adults are now eligible for health care coverage. Newcomer refugees, however, need help to navigate the hurdles to accessing public benefits and advocacy to ensure they remain eligible for assistance while beginning their new life is the U.S.

Fellowship Highlights

During their Fellowship, Marina has:

  • Successfully advocated for California to continue the Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) program, which provides benefits for more than 5,000 refugees across the state
  • Collaborated on an alert to refugee resettlement agencies in California advising them to pre-enroll refugees in Medi-Cal under the ACA to avoid gaps in health care coverage
  • Launched thriving partnerships with community organizations and health care providers serving the refugee population in order to identify potential clients
  • Collaborated on legislative and policy advocacy at the state and local levels to safeguard and enhance health care resources for refugees
  • Trained pro bono attorneys from Hewlett-Packard and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to participate in a clinic to help refugees transition from RMA to Medi-Cal

The Project

Cynthia Tyler worked towards universal representation for unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings. While representing the minors, Cynthia Tyler hoped to make the immigration court more efficient. Unaccompanied minors are among the most vulnerable populations of immigrants, as many of them are fleeing violence and poverty. This work is important to connect them to services and help them achieve their goals in living a better life.

The Project

Jessie expanded legal advocacy to create access to quality mental health services for Alameda County’s foster youth through direct representation, community collaboration, and policy implementation.

More than half of foster youth have a need for mental health services; however, many are over-institutionalized and receive minimal mental health services. Children with troublesome behavior are placed into alternative schools or restrictive group homes and about 25 percent of foster youth are prescribed psychotropic medications with little oversight. An attorney is needed to confront the legal barriers that prevent foster youth, especially youth of color, from receiving adequate mental health treatment.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Jessie has:

  • Provided direct representation to 53 foster youth with high mental health needs, participating in two trials and numerous settlements on behalf of her clients;
  • Consulted with 38 individual foster youth hospitalized for a psychiatric emergency to ensure protection of their legal rights in placement and medication;
  • Reviewed more than 270 psychotropic medication requests and conducted follow-up with providers and youth on many of these;
  • Interviewed around 15 youth held in juvenile hall and represented them in delinquency hearings by providing information regarding mental health and trauma history;
  • Conducted over 30 trainings on legal mental health topics, including local psychotropic medication approval procedure; foster youth mental health privacy protection; trauma-informed systems; guardian ad items for transition-aged youth; and the basics of dependency practice;
  • Obtained a $23,000 grant to support ongoing review of psychotropic medication requests for foster youth.

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Jessie plans to:

  • Continue her mental health advocacy for foster youth at East Bay Children’s Law Offices;
  • Incorporate trauma-informed representation and mental health awareness into advocacy for foster youth who are charged with crimes or detained at juvenile hall, and youth who are at risk of being commercially sexually exploited;
  • Train additional providers, courts, and attorneys;
  • Maintain thorough self-care to enable her continued open heart for her clients.